• Thomas Gould


Beginning with a discussion of George Oppen’s poem “Of Being Numerous”, Gould summarises the difficulties and necessities of silence in relation to modern philosophy, poetry and literature. Focusing on the strategic and ethical impulses of Barthes and Blanchot, as well as the famous final proposition of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, Gould traces the problematic place of silence between absence and presence, human and animal, the ineffably transcendent and the ineffably immanent. Gould places an emphasis on the Barthesian binary of silere and tacere, which distinguishes between a silence absolutely prior to language and a silence of and in language. With a focus on the example of avant-garde composer John Cage, Gould introduces the term “exposure” as a way of referring to the place of silence in and through language.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Gould
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s College LondonLondonUK

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